Department of Business Humanities and Law

Postdoc receives the prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellowship!


Congratulations to Adam Frost, BHL/CBS, who has received the prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellowship. This means that Adam Frost will continue  with us for 2 years under this programme.

The European Commission will award €257 million to 1,235 post-doctoral researchers to work at top universities, research centres, private and public organisation and small and medium-sized enterprises. The European Research Executive Agency (REA) received 7,044 applications for this call, 17.5% of which were selected for funding.

Adam Frost

Adam Frost will initiate the following project entitled

Re-Imagining Informality: Theorizing Informal Entrepreneurship and Economic Change in Transition Era China (1970s–1980s)

Although informality is often assumed to be a barrier to economic progress, recent management scholarship has challenged this assumption by highlighting the opportunities informality provides for marginalized populations and how it supports formal economic activity. However, because of the phenomenological (and often ahistorical) nature of this work, the processes by which informality is produced, how it evolves over time, and how it influences macroeconomic change remain undertheorized. In this project, I attempt to address these lacunae through a novel humanistic approach. Specifically, I apply the tools and frameworks of microhistory to analyze unconventional sources collected from Chinese flea markets and thereby: 1) Map informal networks of state and non-state actors and theorize the mechanisms by which they enabled the creative recombination of capital, labor, and knowledge; 2) Discover and categorize the collusive practices by which these actors pursued entrepreneurial opportunities, circumvented institutional constraints, and mitigated risk; 3) Reveal how entrepreneurial administrators reshaped the regulatory context in which informal entrepreneurship operated. The project thus seeks to revise existing theories of informality by calling attention to how formal/informal boundaries were contextually and historically contingent and by revealing the bottom-up processes through which informal entrepreneurship drives change.


Further, Adam has been awarded a Henry Luce/ACLS Program Fellowship to fund three months of research in China this fall/winter.

The page was last edited by: Department of Business Humanities and Law // 03/03/2023